Nas:Taking The Bullet (An Op-ed)

Is Nas a leader of a rebellion or is he the soothsayer, helping the rest of the world see what he has seen since he started rapping? The media may try to make him look like the gangster rapper who will rob your house and have his way with your wife and daughter despite what his music catalogue suggests of his character. Like Tupac over ten years ago when rap was under fire, Nas is stepping up to take whatever will come out of this and like Tupac he is now deemed as a dangerous gangster rapper even though the music points at consequences, hope, and inspiration.

Nas: Taking The Bullet:

Most recently known for the criticism he received on “The O’ Reilly Factor” and for making an album called “Hip-Hop Is Dead“, Nas has been taking the public forum of all debate regarding rap music. Since the release of “Hip-Hop Is Dead”, Nas has been making his rounds making his presence felt. Performing at Virginia Tech despite what Bill O’Reilly wanted:

Nas is now making the finishing touches on his next album, “N****r”. Although Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are quick to criticize Nas for his choice of album title, Nas continues with it delaying the release for a good number of months to perfect one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Nas is public enemy #1 in the eyes of Fox News and when they were able to get Jesse Jackson and members of the NAACP to say that they disapprove of what Nas is doing, Nas only had one thing to say;
“I’m a street disciple,” Nas responded, quoting one of his earlier album titles. “I’m talking to the streets. Stay out of our business. You ain’t got no business worrying about what the word ‘nigger’ is or acting like you know what my album is about without talking to me. Whether you in the NAACP or you Jesse Jackson. I respect all of them … I just want them to know: Never fall victim to Fox. Never fall victim to the sh– they do. What they do is try to hurry up and get you on the phone and try to get you to talk about something you might not know about yet. “

“If Cornel West was making an album called Nigger, they would know he’s got something intellectual to say,” Nas continued. “To think I’m gonna say something that’s not intellectual is calling me a nigger, and to be called a nigger by Jesse Jackson and the NAACP is counterproductive, counter-revolutionary.”

No statements were received from Jesse Jackson after this quote. Nas has continued to publicize his album in interviews explaining how in the midst of everything that has happened he wants to take control. Nas had shined the light on hip-hop two years ago with his last album and now he is taking the spotlight and shining it on the rest of the world. Don Imus can be said to be the person who sparked all of the recent racial tensions and that can be agreed on but Nas says that it was win-win for Imus because it was handled badly and by that he means that everytime something like that happens Al Sharpton and the same old crowd are out marching about and that he should send him a new pair of gators since his are probably worn out from all the marching. Found here.

With that statement alone I feel like Nas does have alot to say on his next album. He is getting frowned upon by so-called leaders of his own community for trying to take on one of the most sensitive subject matters in the world. In that last statement he says the old way doesn’t work anymore, marching is not a way to solve anything in modern society. Nas hopes to take his music, which has always had something to talk about in it, and set the bar where he thinks the discussion of the state of racism and the state of hip-hop should be. If you look back ten and more years ago the same discussions about mysogyny and violence in rap were happening and they are only being repeated now with no solution. Racism is exactly where it was ten years ago if not tracked back even further by the displays of nooses all over the country. Nas aims to take these topics and lay them out and say “work from here, follow the line, stay out of the circle”.

Nas took the reigns of hip-hop and helped reshape it to push away “ringtone” rappers in a battle that is still taking place, but with less ringtone rappers. Now Nas hopes to reshape racism and Middle-America’s views on rap music. To show the difference between a ringtone and a true work of hip-hop art. To bring forward what is really happening in racism, that it is still alive. It was only covered by a blanket left to smolder until it received the breath to rekindle itself.

Nas, a marketing strategy, a rebel, or a revolutionary. You can decide that on your own. Either way, Nas has stepped up the the pulpit, turning the volume up on the mic, and people are going to listen. Picking up exactly where Tupac left off in his battle against the media and rap. Say hello to the second coming of the bad guy.

Tupac ft. Nas -Thugz Mansion

See also: Premier weighs in on Nas album

Hip-Hop vs. America
The N-Word and the Voting Rights Act
And You Think Rap is Bad

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